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The abuse of the boycott weapon

Reader comment on item: CAIR's Assault on Paul Harvey

Submitted by Ken Besig (Israel), Dec 30, 2003 at 19:33

Not too long ago the what is known as the Conservative Movement in America launched a protest including a threatened boycott against a major American television network over the production of a dramatization depicting the presidency of Ronald Reagan. This dramatization was believed to be a deliberate slur on the presidential history of former President Ronald Reagan and while the program on the former president was indeed later produced, it was in fact modified and presented in a more rather than less accurate form. Which brings us to the use and abuse of product boycotts as a method of suppressing dissent or differing political views.

While I agree with Paul Harvey's characterization of some aspects of Islam, I feel that he should have expressed himself a little more moderately. That said, the fact that Paul Harvey did apologize for his rather gratuitous inflammatory remark should have settled the issue, and mollified those who may have felt offended. The action of cancelling advertisements taken by GE was thus unnecessary, and I firmly believe the fact that this action was later rescinded, was due in no small part to counter objections raised by those of us who contacted GE as a direct result of your newletter. Boycotts are a time honored and an entirely legitimate method of expressing popular dissatisfaction, and so are the countermeasures than can be taken to neutralize them. This is the most effective way to fight these extremists by the way, organize a buy-cott of those whom they would boycott! All the best

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